Adobe’s $20 billion acquisition of Figma has been referred to an in-depth probe by the UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The CMA raised concerns that the deal “could mean less choice for designers of digital apps, websites, and other products.” According to the regulator, as Adobe had also been investing heavily in such design sectors itself, there could be a “loss of important rivalry” should the company ultimately buy Figma.
However, Adobe has refused to offer any remedies to address the CMA’s concerns. A spokesperson for Adobe said: “We look forward to establishing these facts in the next phase of the process and successfully completing the transaction.”
The CMA identified concerns in the supply of screen design software, where the two companies compete. Figma’s web-based collaborative platform for designs and brainstorming is hugely popular among tech firms, including Zoom Video Communications, Airbnb, and Coinbase. The EU will also decide by August 7, whether to give the acquisition green-light or not, reported Reuters.
Figma’s popularity and the concerns raised by the CMA illustrate the importance of the platform in the design world. However, securing a merger or takeover of one of the market’s most important players is proving questionable. As Adobe and Figma engage in a game of chess, the UK regulator steps in to make sure that completing the acquisition won’t mean sacrificing a key competitive edge in terms of choice.